Interest building in Idaho's Player of Year

THE STATE OF IDAHO produced 10 Division I-A football signees in the most recent recruiting crop, but it was a junior who was the Gem State's Class 5A player of the year. The defensive end from Coeur d'Alene now holds three college scholarship offers himself and eyes camps at WSU or Oregon to help his cause. He projects as a linebacker, so needs reps at that position to make believers in the Pac.

This fall will be Byron Hout's first playing linebacker -- the position where college coaches see the 6-1, 225-pound from Lake City High lining up at the next level.

Idaho, Eastern Washington and Idaho State already have offered him, with Montana probably coming in soon. The Pac-10 schools and Boise State are holding off -- at least for the moment.

The reticence is understandable.

If you're going to offer someone at LB, you better have a good indication -- especially when the body in question isn't 6-3 or taller -- that the youngster has what it takes not to get tied up by Pac-10 offensive tackles.

Hout has spent all his high school career at defensive end and offensive tackle. He was named first-team All-State last season at both positions.

He racked up 83 tackles with 12 sacks and 16 for loss in 2006. And as highly ranked as his Lake City teammates Brandon Hanna and Carson York (both signed with Oregon) were last recruiting cycle, Hout has been praised by his prep coach as simply being on another level.

HOUT'S SCHOOL CAMP is at Idaho, from June 18-22. Prior to that, he'll be attending Boise State's camp. The other camp appearances he's considering are Washington State and Oregon with it looking like an either/or situation. Hout said Oregon appears the more likely choice at this point, although he stressed it wasn't set in stone.

"I was going to go to (WSU's) camp but the Oregon camp is the same time. I haven't really spoken to Washington State that much lately. I've been getting letters from Oregon, I haven't really talked to them on the phone, but I went on an unofficial visit there and talked to coaches there. They're interested in seeing how I play linebacker," said Hout.

Washington State's runs from June 24-27, while Oregon's runs from June 24-28.

He says he's been in frequent contact with coaches from BSU, Idaho and Montana. Al Genatone, the old Cougar standout now coaching LBs at Idaho, "is a really cool guy," Hout noted.

Hout said he has no leaders.

"I want to go somewhere where I get to use my skills, where the defense is run where I'd be an (integral) part of it. BSU, they have a spot where one of their linebackers is the pass rusher, that's pretty much all he does. And my strongest skill is pass rushing," said Hout.

Byron Hout profile

Notable Hout Notes:
As a junior in '06, Hout was named State of Idaho 5A Player of the Year, First Team All State Defense and Offense, All League MVP, First Team All League Defense and Offense, the Lake City MVP and Defensive Lineman of the Year.

His sophomore season, Hout logged 85 tackles with five forced fumbles and four blocked punts, earning mention in USA TODAY as "among the best the nation has to offer on the gridiron" heading into the '06 season.

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